11th November, 2011 - Posted by admin - No Comments
How long do you let your toddler nap during the day?
I am sitting next to X who has been napping for 2 hours now, and wondering if we will regret this long daytime nap tonight. At nursery, 2 days a week, he naps for an hour or less. Sometimes at home he totally skips his nap. Some days, like today, he will crash out for 2 hours or more.
In fact for several months he gave it up entirely except at nursery, but with a little persuasion we got it back a few months ago – by persuasion, I mean when he looked tired but was adamant he wanted to play we kept him upstairs having cuddles or quiet time to see if, indeed, he was right. Usually, he was not!
It seems a trawl of the internets suggests most toddlers need one 2 hour nap a day. He sleeps for about 11 hours at night, so this does seem to give him a reasonable amount of shut-eye. And sleeping for 0,1 or 2 hours during the day does not seem to affect him – but no sleep makes for a quick and easy bedtime!
Napping certainly gives X more energy in the afternoon and energy = learning at this age, so a nap is essential for him to play and learn as much as possible. As well as conserving energy, sleep is a good time to process information, giving the body some downtime so that the brain can figure out what’s been learnt without it all backing up – well, that is how I conceptualise it anyway.
Webmd has an expert saying “If nap is more than one hour and 45 minutes, your kids may wake up cranky, ninety minutes is just right.”
Uh oh. Crankiness on it’s way for us then.
Elizabeth Pantley, author of the no-cry sleep solution, disagrees, and opts for a maximum of 2.5 hrs of naps at 2 years, with 11-12hrs of sleep at night
How the dickens do these people come up with these magic formulas?!
At any rate, in this case I will risk a cranky toddler and let my sleeping babe lie. He just looks so cute.